This is hysterical: a drug-addled loon who gets arrested for trying to tote a loaded gun onto an airplane has the unmitigated gall to give the beatdown to file sharers. Here is his “Open Letter to File Sharers” which appears in the April 10 issue of Billboard:
- From Hugh Prestwood (Songwriter)*
What is becoming increasingly clear is that the great majority of you truly feel no guilt about the “sharing” of what I have created and own — my music.
You have lumped together many professions (artists, songwriters, engineers, producers, publishers, etc.) into one big ugly corporate caricature — a rich and corrupt industry that can be stolen from remorselessly. Additionally, in your “yes, Virginia, there is a free lunch” mentality, you have unthinkingly devalued songs to the extent that you perceive them as trifles –something of little value to be partaken and enjoyed at no cost. Moreover, you have unfairly condemned me and my record industry peers for bringing the law to bear against you. In classic “blame the victim” reasoning, you lay the responsibility
for my losses at my feet, saying, in essence, that the problem is not your theft, but rather my inability to prevent it.
Well, file-sharers, I righteously say “bull.” I, songwriter/publisher, labored for years to create those songs, and I really do legally own them. I — not you — have the right to control what happens to them, a right your technology does not trump. You are dead wrong to simply give my songs away and undermine my only chance to profit from my creations. Don’t tell me that I should gracefully pardon your hand in my pocket. Don’t insinuate to me that, because your thievery is so facile, perhaps I should find some other way to make a living. Your “hobby” is taking the bread off my table, and I have every right to use any and all legal means possible to discourage your destructive practices.
Let us come together. You often love what I create, and I need to make a living. I have been trying for several years now to find a way for us both to be happy — where you can easily acquire my songs and I can be justly rewarded for my creativity. Try as I might, however, thus far I have been unable to find a way to compete with “free”. You must help me.
First, you must wake up from your fantasy that songs should rightly be free, and that no one is being hurt by your theft. I and all my fellow songwriters (among others) are seeing our futures seriously threatened. Second, you must “raise your consciousness” to where you understand that a career in music is brutally serendipitous and difficult to maintain. The ability of artists and songwriters to have any kind of dependable, longer-term, income is entirely linked to their ability to control their copyrights. Without copyright protection, aspiring artists and songwriters had best not ever consider quitting their day jobs.
Finally, you must realize that in real life you really do get what you pay for. If you won’t pay for music, you will soon be receiving a product commensurate with your thriftiness. A society that doesn’t value a commodity enough to pay for it will soon see the creation and production of that commodity cease.
* Hugh Prestwood is the award-winning songwriter of 1993 NSAI Song of the Year and 1994 Emmy winner (Outsanding Individual Achievement in Music and Lyrics) “The Song Remembers When,” 1991 BMI Song of the Year “Hard Rock Bottom of Your Heart” and other number one country hits including “The Moon Is Still Over Her Shoulder” and “The Sound of Goodbye.” The BMG Music Publishing songwriter’s top five singles include “On The Verge” and the Grammy-nominated “Ghost In This House.”
First of all: blow it out your fatuous ass, Hugh. Second of all, your judgment, and in fact, sanity are very directly called into question by this report from January:
- Country music songwriter Hugh Prestwood was arrested after a loaded gun was found in his carry-on luggage at Long Island MacArthur Airport, police said.
Prestwood, 61, who lives in Greenport, was on his way to Nashville on Friday when a screener spotted the .38-caliber revolver, Suffolk County police Sgt. Darrell Dabe said.
Authorities also found two medicines that Prestwood had without prescriptions, Dabe said.
Prestwood was charged with one weapon possession count and two drug possession counts. A call to his home seeking comment during the weekend was not answered.
A staff songwriter for BMG music, Prestwood has written hits for country singers including Randy Travis and Crystal Gayle. He won a Prime Time Emmy for Trisha Yearwood ‘s “The Song Remembers When” and has been nominated for three Grammys.
Subsequently, this paragon of virtue came up with a prescription for the drugs, but the weapons charge remains:
- Country music songwriter Hugh Prestwood of Greenport was arraigned this week on a grand jury indictment charging him with one count of third degree criminal possession of a weapon.
Prestwood, 61, was arrested January 10 at Macarthur Airport in Islip when screeners examining his carryon bag found a loaded .38 Smith and Wesson revolver. The composer was boarding a Southwest Airlines flight to Nashville to participate in a charity event.
Prestwood entered a plea of not guilty February 2 and will return to county court in Riverhead for a conference on March 24. He remains free on $50,000 cash bail.
Hugh L. Prestwood, DOB 4/02/1942
519 First Street, Greenport NY
Arrested January 10, incarcerated at county jail January 10 and 11, released in lieu of $50,000 cash bail on Monday, January 12. Arraigned on a Suffolk County grand jury indictment Monday, February 2, charged with one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon, 3rd degree, a D violent felony punishable by a prison term of 2 to 7 years. The defendant pled not guilty and his $50,000 bail was continued.
One can only wonder at the brilliance displayed by a 61-year-old man carrying a concealed loaded gun into an airport more than two years after 9/11. This line is particularly juicy:
- Your “hobby” is taking the bread off my table, and I have every right to use any and all legal means possible to discourage your destructive practices.
Your “hobby” of traveling with a loaded gun is endangering your self and those around you, and the government has every right “to use any and all legal means possible to discourage your destructive practices.”
Your disregard for the law is far more egregious and dangerous than that of file sharers, you hypocritical douchebag. You’re fired.